A day after Doug Eckert retired from his position as commander of the Second District, the respected New Orleans Police Department veteran died of cancer, according to social media posts by the NOPD and other law-enforcement agencies.
“It is with heavy hearts that we inform you of the passing of Retired Commander Doug Eckert of the Second District. Commander Eckert passed away last night after a long hard battle with cancer.
Each of us not only grieves at the passing of a tremendous individual but also for the loss his family suffers,” states the NOPD Second District Facebook page on Monday morning.
Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro posted: “New Orleans suffered another huge loss Monday night with the passing of Cmdr. Doug Eckert, truly one of NOPD’s finest. He served our city with integrity, compassion and dignity until the very end while waging a courageous battle against cancer. Condolences to his family and fellow officers. He was one of the great forces for good in our city and will be missed.”
Commander Jeff Walls – who had previously been in command of the Third District – had taken over operations in the NOPD’s Second District, which encompasses the Uptown and Audubon areas, on Sunday, June 9.
Eckert capped his 22-year NOPD career as commander of the Second District. He joined the NOPD as a recruit in 1997, graduating in 1998 as an officer. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2002, followed by a promotion to lieutenant in 2012. In 2014, Eckert was promoted to the rank of commander.
Before commanding the Second District, Eckert served as the commander of the department’s Criminal Investigative Division – which includes the Homicide, Special Victims, Property Crimes and Juvenile sections – and the Crime Lab & Evidence Division.
“I cannot say enough about the outstanding career Commander Doug Eckert has had in the NOPD,” said NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson, announcing Eckert’s retirement in a June 10 press release. “He has been a trusted friend, mentor, peer and exceptional professional throughout his law enforcement career. He has served the city of New Orleans and its residents with honor, dignity and respect.
“Even in his final days with the department, Doug’s passion and dedication for the job were on display. He is the epitome of what it means to be a law enforcement officer.”